BacterioScan completes oversubscribed Series A financing round for in vitro UTI test

BacterioScan's proprietary testing system--Courtesy of BacterioScan

In vitro diagnostics outfit BacterioScan closed an oversubscribed Series A financing round to support development of its next-generation, rapid diagnostic test for urinary tract infection (UTI).

The St. Louis, MO-based company is staying mum on financial details but will use the funds to complete work on "Model 216Dx," a product that helps hospitals and clinical microbiology labs process results from UTI specimens more quickly. UTI comprises about 40% of all hospital-acquired infections, and the company's diagnostic system could cut down sample processing time from several days to less than two hours for the majority of specimens, BacterioScan said in a statement.

Local firm Warson Capital Partners managed the recent funding round, and co-investors included the Missouri Technology Corporation and BioGenerator Fund. BacterioScan plans to complete and launch its in vitro UTI test during 2015.

BacterioScan President Dana Marshall

"We are excited by the opportunities open to our company," Dana Marshall, BacterioScan's president, said in a statement. "This initial financing has allowed us to bring a truly revolutionary technology to the in vitro diagnostics market, providing us with a cornerstone product that offers potential for outstanding growth and adaptation for the future."

The completion of the Series A round marks a critical moment for BacterioScan as it forges ahead with development of its rapid UTI diagnostic. Last year, the company introduced a "Research Only" version of the test, which yielded BacterioScan's first commercial sales. Several research hospitals and universities are looking at the test's ability to quickly detect antibiotic resistance and susceptibility for various bacterial infections, and recent studies indicate that the technology can reduce time for selecting an effective antibiotic therapy from more than 30 hours to less than three hours, the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, researchers continue to examine the potential of innovative products to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In October, Ann Arbor, MI-based NanoBio revealed promising study data for its intranasal vaccine for genital herpes, showing that 92% of vaccinated animals were protected from infection. Last week, the National Institutes of Health awarded $20 million to a team led by the Oak Crest Institute of Science to develop a novel intravaginal ring that could prevent the spread of sexually transmitted HIV in women by delivering combinations of antiretroviral drugs.

- read BacterioScan's statement

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